Friday, October 27, 2006


In 1991 I saw "Enchanted April" for the first time and it has stayed with me ever since. I grant you that it is a "feel good" movie but it is far superior to what that connotes. The scenery alone would draw me back time and again.

Based on the novel by Elizabeth Von Arnim, "Enchanted April" is the story of four women from London, strangers, who have joined their resources in order to rent a villa in Italy for the month of April. It is in the 1920's.

The women leave a cold, drizzly London and arrive in Italy to find themselves at a dark and foreboding Villa. They are dismayed to see that is it raining even harder than it was when they left.

The scene that follows this is amazing. It is the next morning and we are in the bedroom of one of the women. She goes to the window and slowly opens the heavy wooden shutters. All of a sudden the room is infused with sunlight...the rays just bouncing off the walls. She breathes in deeply and gazes at the view that stretches for miles and ends at the water line below. She is bursting with joy as she calls out a "good morning" to her friends.

And that is the first of the magical moments that make up this gem of a film. I truly did not want it to end. I won't give away the plot because, if you have not seen it, you deserve to experience it on your own. There are twists and turns that will delight and entertain the most cynical aficionado.

Joan Plowright plays a prominent role and her name was the only one that I recognized in 1991. Other cast members are Polly Walker, Miranda Richardson, Alfred Molina, Jessie Lawrence, Michael Kitchen and Jim Broadbent. They are superbly suited to the roles they play and they've become very familiar to me over the years.

This truly is my all-time favorite movie. It never fails to lift my spirits and is one of the few films that I can watch over and over. I hope it will be the same for you.


Blogger Suzie Q said...

Thank you so much for sharing this, Ginnie. It sounds like a lovely way to spend a wintry evening, and I look forward to it immensely! (April is my favourite month, always enchanted for me!)

Suze xXx

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't remember if I've seen it...but I do want to rent it and see. Across the street from my mother's house (which is 4 doors down from the ocean) three widows all went in on buying a house together. I love that!

1:14 PM  
Blogger thailandchani said...

I will definitely check and see if it is on Netflix. It sounds a bit familiar but not enough to keep me from renting it.

It's funny how movies affect us. You know, I still watch "The Secret Garden". Something in that movie speaks to me ~ and I get something new, each time I watch it.

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing this movie with us. RIGHT up my alley....and I'm heading over to Netflix shortly to order it.
Have you read the book? Sounds like the book would be just as good.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Chancy said...

Ginnie --Have you ever seen "A Month by the Lake?" It was filmed at the Villa d'Este, Lake Como Italy. It is such a sweet story and the scenery is lovely. It stars Vanessa Redgrave, Uma Thurman and
Edward Fox.

From a user comment on "Internet Movies Data Base"

"Take two outstanding British actors, give them a clever, witty script, set them in a gorgeous part of Italy and a fascinating era of history, and you can't help but produce a great movie. It's a romance but it's also a delicious send up of the vanity of men and the deviousness of women. Lovely work with superb photography and a haunting musical theme.It captures the essence of pre war Europe and the joy of Italian life even under fascism. Vanessa Redgrave and Edward Fox, two of my very favourite people, didn't disappoint me. Enjoyed it immensely. "

8:38 PM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

Thanks for all the comments everybody and, yes, Chancy, I saw "A Month by the Lake" and loved it, too.

6:45 AM  

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